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At the Feet of The Mother

Sanatana Dharma and War (4) The End of Wars?

Of course, not all wars are so distinct in their character as we see exemplified in the two great epics. Nor do all human beings fall into clear human types and categories as Asura and Deva. In fact most human beings start as an Asura and it is only through a spiritual conversion that they evolve into a Deva. In this conception we can see the two sides as representing two different stages of evolution. It is no more about an absolute good or an absolute evil that anyways rarely exist given the relativity of right and wrong. But this relativity of binaries should not confuse us or paralyse us from action. Action, whether battle and war, take place in the present moment and yet it has the potential to push us backwards or else impel us forwards. What we find evil today was a necessary good at one time. When man was a crude, he needed extreme measures and violent means of punishment to maintain law and order. But as we evolve our ways of dealing with the outlaw also must evolve. We see this already happening through the sports wherein the competitive and combative impulses are channelised in ways that help us grow and evolve. On the other hand, we also see that war itself has assumed new dimensions such as economic sanctions, financial hegemony and such ways to choke and stifle a nation or a community. Be it as it may, wars will not cease until man’s consciousness changes, until he transforms the animal in him completely and converts or dissolves the Asura and the Asuric tendencies. Until then wars will not only be inevitable but even an evolutionary necessity, a painful passage that destroys the old and clears the way for the New. Shiva’s Tandav destroys the old and the same Shiva’s Lasya brings out the new rhythms into creation. The Krishna of Kurukshetra and the Krishna of Vrindavan are a single God. Whence does he rise up to destroy? When man is not ready to dance with Shyamsundar and usher the New Dawn.

Sri Aurobindo shows us the way:

‘A dark concealed hostility is lodged
In the human depths, in the hidden heart of Time
That claims the right to change and mar God’s work.
A secret enmity ambushes the world’s march;
It leaves a mark on thought and speech and act:
It stamps stain and defect on all things done;
Till it is slain peace is forbidden on earth.
There is no visible foe, but the unseen
Is round us, forces intangible besiege,
Touches from alien realms, thoughts not our own
Overtake us and compel the erring heart;
Our lives are caught in an ambiguous net.
An adversary Force was born of old:
Invader of the life of mortal man,
It hides from him the straight immortal path.
A power came in to veil the eternal Light,
A power opposed to the eternal will
Diverts the messages of the infallible Word,
Contorts the contours of the cosmic plan:
A whisper lures to evil the human heart,
It seals up wisdom’s eyes, the soul’s regard,
It is the origin of our suffering here,
It binds earth to calamity and pain.
This all must conquer who would bring down God’s peace.
This hidden foe lodged in the human breast
Man must overcome or miss his higher fate.
This is the inner war without escape.’
[Savitri: 447-448]   

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